Concentration of rare earth minerals from coal by froth flotation

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35 Scopus citations


Rare earth elements (REEs) found in coal are in the form of minerals, ion-adsorbed onto clay surfaces or inner layers, or organically bound. Rare earth minerals such as monazite exist in coal and have grain sizes smaller than 5 μm. In this study, froth flotation was successful in concentrating rare earth minerals existing in a thickener underflow material derived from Fire Clay seam coal that contained around 431 ppm of total rare earth elements (TREE) on a dry ash basis. Conditioning with fatty acid followed by processing using multiple stages of conventional flotation produced a final concentrate containing 2, 300 ppm TREE. Using a laboratory flotation column to limit hydraulic entrainment, the TREE content was further enriched to around 4, 700 ppm, which equated to an enrichment ratio of 10:1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-137
Number of pages6
JournalMinerals and Metallurgical Processing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Energy under Award Number(s) DE-FE0027036.


  • Coal
  • Froth flotation
  • Rare earth elements
  • Rare earth minerals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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